Player Piece: Jimmy Soufis’ SFV Round 2 Preview

Round 2 of Series Futsal Victoria 2017/18 is almost upon us, and Fitzroy FC player Jimmy Soufis is here to guide you through what to expect in this comprehensive pre-round preview.

7:00pm – CF Brunswick Chiefs vs FC Carlton Heart

Previous Meeting –  CF Brunswick 1-5 FC Carlton – SFV, Round 21, 2017, 11th August 2017

In the opening game of the round, champions Carlton take on a Brunswick side who narrowly avoided relegation last season. In the sides’ last meeting it was Carlton who overcame Brunswick comfortably in the final round of the 2017 season.

Recent form suggests Carlton will coast to victory in this one; but Brunswick pushed Pascoe Vale to their limit in round one and a similar display could spell a different story for the Chiefs come game time. It will take a gutsy defensive display from Brunswick to keep out the free-scoring Heart.

Can they cause a monumental upset? Many will say it is beyond them, including myself, but only time will tell.

Key players

Carlton – Ernie Simsek

Simsek was at his best in round one, netting four goals; and he always proves a headache for the Brunswick defence. If he repeats his heroics from the opening day, I cannot see Brunswick being able to cope with his clinical finishing.

Brunswick – Christos Apostolakis

Christos Apostolakis is a massive inclusion for the Brunswick side after missing the past six weeks, first being away at the AFC Club championships with Vic Vipers, before taking some extra time away.

It could be a big boost for Brunswick if Apostolakis can produce the kind of performance he is known for, and it would go a long way to nullifying the potent Carlton attacking force.

8:00pm – FC Balwyn vs Moreland Blues FC

Previous Meeting – FC Balwyn 1-14 Moreland FC – State League Championship, Round 19, 2014, 10th August 2014

Balwyn and Moreland have seemed to avoid each other for years on end. The last time the sides met was in the State League Championship just over three years ago, a tie which Moreland won convincingly 14-1.

A lot has changed since then, both clubs have seen their highs and lows, but given Balwyn’s current struggles and Moreland beginning to find their feet, a similar score line may not be out of the question.

While Moreland have found goals hard to come by of late, this could be the game where they break their scoring duck with Balwyn facing an uphill battle in this one.

Key Players

Moreland – Ben Monteleone

The former Balwyn man faces his former side for the first time since his high-profile transfer just two weeks ago. Monteleone has proved to be a live-wire so far for Moreland, securing a goal and three assists in his two appearances so far; and if he hits his stride will prove too hot for his former employers to handle.

Balwyn – Michele Salvi

Salvi was absent from the sides opening round defeat, and his absence was felt as Balwyn seemed to lack leadership on the court. Salvi seemingly got through training during the week unscathed, so if he does take to the court, it would be a massive step in the right direction for Balwyn.

 

9:10pm – Western Wolves FC vs Hume FC

Previous Meeting – Western Wolves FC 5-7 Hume FC – SFV, Round 20, 2017, 4th August 2017

These two sides produced the game of the season in their last encounter. The Wolves led by four goals to nil at the half time break and seemed as if they would steamroll their opponents.

Hume however, had other ideas, showing their fighting spirit to come back and take home the points.

The Wolves were busy in the transfer window, and they look like a club with real intent to move forward and will certainly be looking to push the Black Army to their limits once again.

Hume have recaptured some of the form they showed during the 2016/17 season, but they still have some chinks in their armour. They will need to be at their best to win what is looking like a possible contender for game of the night.

Key Players

Western Wolves – Sofiane Soufi

After his shock move to the Wolves, Soufi will be looking to regain his fitness and his goal-scoring prowess.

Following health problems, Soufi looks rejuvenated in his new role at the club and his experience and influence could be the difference for the Wolves this evening, even if it isn’t him dominating within the white lines of the Thomastown Futsal Oz court.

Hume – Ubeyde Cicek

Cicek has overcome a baron spell of form which has seen him hit the goal trail once again. He was the hero in his sides come-from-behind win over the Wolves in round twenty, and his recent performances suggest that he could once again be the difference against the Wolves.

10:10pm – Fitzroy Tigers FC vs Pascoe Vale Lions FC

Previous Meeting – Fitzroy FC 7-2 Pascoe Vale FC, FOZ Cup, Semi Final, 2017, 27th August 2017

The final game of the night is the derby, El Classico. No matter what kind of form these two sides are in, they always produce an epic encounter.

The last meeting saw Fitzroy come away comfortable winners in the Futsal Oz Cup semi -final, but Pascoe Vale will be looking to hit back, and with a number of key ins and injuries to Abdulhayi Abdi and John Nikolakoudis for Fitzroy, the game looks set to be another blockbuster to close out the night.

Key Players

Fitzroy – Fernando De Moraes

De Moraes always proves to be a handful for the Pascoe Vale defense, posing a constant attacking threat as well as having the mental edge over the Lions. A big performance from De Moraes would go a long way to helping Fitzroy take home the points.

Pascoe Vale – Andre Caro

Caro missed his sides Futsal Oz Cup campaign and round one game while away at the UEFA Cup representing SSV Jahn Regensburg, who progressed through to the next phase of competition.

It is no secret that Pascoe Vale are a different side with Caro in the mix, and if he can return to the form which saw him claim three straight League MVP trophies, it could be the difference between three points and coming home empty handed for the Lions.

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